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book. for more information about this story and the book industry news visit our web site >> the harlem book fair panel on the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation. this is an hour and 15 minutes. .. [inaudible conversations] good afternoon. i'm the president of clark atlanta university, which is about the only independent graduate research institution in the united states of america. that is a part of the historical black colleges and university community. what we're here to talk about today there is a major crisis in america, one more damaging than even the nation's daunting economic landscape. the american education system has failed young people of color. african-american males in particular. the evidence is somewhat overwhelming. only 55% of all black students graduate from high school on
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time with a regular diploma. on average, african-american twelfth grade students read at approximately the same grade level as white eighth graders and the twelfth grade were lower than significantly lower than any other racial and ethnic group. in march 2007 editorial, phillip jackson from chicago's black star project. there was no longer a need for dire predictses, apprehension about losings a generation of black boys. it is too late. a generation in education, employment, economics, incarceration, health, and parents we have lost a generation of young black males. they have the worst grades, the lowest test scores and the highest dropout rates of all students in the country. data goes on and on as we have
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heard and recounted and talk about oprah winfrey the -- past how many years. young men of color charted away from educational success sites among the finding 65 percent of all males incarcerated in the united states are african-american or hispanic. penn state center for the study of race and equity in education officer an equally dismall snapshot in the college achievement study. if 2002 black men comprised only 4.23% of students enrolled of institutions of higher education. the same percentage that we had in 176. the shock foundation in 2010 reported that in 2008, 47% of black male students greated from u.s. high school on time. compared to 78% of white male
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students. joining me today are four very distinguished individuals. who have individually beaten the odds and gone on to date a great deal of other work. each set a high standard for leadership, integrity and frontline engagement. each is deeply an personally invested in stemming and reversing this tie. professor sean harper raise your hand. director of university of pennsylvania graduate school education. it is tenured faculty member in the schools gender studies programs. he ask also the cofounder of the pen graduate school of education graduate prep academy. published nine books and more than 80 peer review journals. latest of which is racial and ethnic diversity in higher education in 2011. he serve as editor in chief on
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the book series on race and racism in higher education. featured in 2007, on the cover of diverse issues in higher education, for his research on the national black male college aschee. study. the largest study of the kind. i will point out that he is a graduate of al albany state university and georgia in earned ph.d. in higher education from indiana university. and a principal, in demand speaker and author of motivating black males to achieve and school and life served for more than twenty years as highly rated urban public school educator in new jersey. to say he is on fire to help educator, parents, and youth across the nation achieve success, is gross understatement. as an elementary schoolteacher he was the teacher of year. as a middle and high school
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principal, he lead the transformation of four different schools. including the might any knew around tech. which went from a low performing school in need of improvement to earn national recognition. u.s. news and world report recognize that three times is one of america's best high schools. earned a bs degree in management science in marketing from king university. and the ma degree in educational administration in new jersey city university. he is a recipient of over 100 educational awards including the very great national educator award in 2009 and new jersey education association award for excellence in 2011. author of the best selling book the hidden debate. the truth revealed about the battle of refirmtive action in south africa and the united
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states. as president of the corporation a think tank that go ons solution to african probably globally. he's the director of the substitute acting director much urban issues substitute and associate professor of sociology at ethics county college. the hidden debate which helps us refocus on the underlying issues in variation educational and economic success was nominated for two national awards. the 09 vif award and the american sociological association distinguished book award. he is the coauthor of the book introduction of sociology understanding our social world. and importantly has embarked on a three-book series called african sociology. earned ph.d. and master's degree in sociology from the university of pennsylvania. as first generation college student, john michael lee, and i
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know he doesn't mind me saying this. the son of a drug addicted mother, who was shuffled among family members did not attend college. he persevered to finish. dr. lee urn earned a bachelor of science degrees from florida a&m university. this is what florida a&m does better than anything you've been reading about in the news. this the best. masses of publish administration with concentration in planning and economic development from georgia state university and ph.d. in higher education administration from the sign hart school of education at nyu. today he is the policy director eat the college board and coauthor of the similarral research study, the educational experience of young min of color. a review of research, pathways, and progress. his work has included a variety of projects including evaluating theth cat sei of the psat and
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the sat and advanced placement programs an developing policy research to supported a vot casey in government relations. partly joining the georgia department of economic development. welcome, gentleman. [applause] so now that in ten minutes we have demonstrated what african-american males can really do. let's begin this process. [applause] [cheering and applause] let me start with dr. lee. your 2012 report a critical post point for the african-american community, states that as of 2008, only 41.6% of 25 to 34-year-olds in the united states had obtained an associate degree or higher. more alarming only 30.3% of
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african-americans in 19.8 of latinos age 25 to 34-year-old 0 containing associate degree or hirer. compared to 70.7% more asian-americans. even the latest issue would have tone for that black males historically at the bottom of the social economic per mid are becoming the education untouchables. beginning with descr. lee, for all of you in your estimate, what has most fueled the rapid, some say is a teamic client of the black male. why haven't we gotten a handled on the crisis? >> i think we look to several different areas. one thing we looked as as far as pathways. in the study i did for [inaudible] we looked at what happened with young males once they graduate from high schools.
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we're not talking about those who drop out of college and those who don't make it. but we're talking about those who have actually get to the point where they graduate. and what we found for those students nearly 50% either end up in incarceration, unemployment, or they either die young. and so what we're saying young men in the three categories that are the most detrimental to the communities. you start to see that effect is going to have a very negative effect as far as a payment overall in the community. >> other responses? >>. >> one of the things i further want to say thank you to the harlem book festival for inviting us here. it's a great opportunity for us to do powerful things. to think about how we heal and build our community and change the world in which we live. so i would think that when we talk about education and we think about the ways in which
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this changing agenda is setting upon us, we have to really go back and look at some of the fundamental things even i would suggest we relook at segregation and the schools that were independent schools for during time of segregation and how those educational institutions educated kids in comparison to how they're educated today. what were some of the different pull and push things that helped kids to stay focused and grounded during education that type of educational environment? and how today is it they're not grounded in the same way? what is it that those teachers or that environment created that created something that enabled those young folks to achieve in the face of something they couldn't achieve. and i think that once we see that the power is within them the young folks to achieve, and we help them to understand that they have that power embedded
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within them. then they begin to believe in themselves. they begin to see that success is possible. because i think a lot of times they think that they -- that success is not possible because they don't see success around them. our communities are not integrated today with african-americans who are successful and nose who are not successful. so they don't have all the examples in front of them that i think that those young folks had during segregation where you might have the doctor living next door. you might have the maintenance person living down the street. and you had someone over here who was a lawyer and everything was right there in front of you. and so we need to figure how do we create an environment that has those types of things that motivate those folks to skees? >> good afternoon, everybody. also it's a great opportunity to be with you today and have the conversation, which is critically important. i agree everything he said
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relative to segregation and what imnated from that. i want to say in terms of con temporary -- times we're not having a real conversation in earnest about black males particularly as it related education to. if we don't have the courage, if we don't have the awe disto have the conversation within the school district, within the school how do we begin to solve the problem? so as a principal, it was important that i engage staff in the discussion that we have the conversation because there's so many of us that do this that don't realize this is a problem. we don't identify it as a problem, have the conversation and then be in a position to offer solutions within a within a school district how we inspire males to want to strive to maximize their potential. we're continuing to see what we saw with the data. with the graduation rate across
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the country. >> for sure. the data that has been sited here paints a portrait of a complex problem. that it's not easily explained by or can be narrow attributed to a small set of factors. it is extremely complex. i will argue here that part of the reason why we continue to see such enormous disparities and education and other domains is that there's this pervasive narrative about who black men are, that follows them from elementary school all the way to adulthood, right? that -- [inaudible] black men. it surprise me not to be frank that we see these kinds of issues when all black men hear about themselves particularly young black men are these doom and gloom statistics, bad news about themselves, and so on.
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who aspires to low expectations? right? so if there is narrative out there that young black men going internal lose because it's all they hear. they are not the only recipients of the message president media, also consumed these messages. teachers consume these messages and therefore articulate and behave in ways that continually reinforce low expectations for black male students in school. >> and continuing with you, doctor, your landmarked 2012 national black male college achievement study, in that study, you say that among the complimented mix of factors necessary to engender college success, and that's where we want to going move the conversation. how do we create success? you say these factors are having at least one k-12 teacher who took a personal interest in their academic and personal future. that tells us that for a
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significant number of african-american male there's not been that one -- am i reading you correctly? having adequate financial support to pay for college, and i'll point that even the middle class families do inadequate preparation in that regard. making a transition to college in which high expectations were set for them by influential black male junior and senior at the school. these are some pretty tall aims for even too many of your young men. how do we bridge the gap in not even one elementary teacher is going to the job for most of our men. >> sure. i really appreciate the question, and the way that i have thought about that, is oftentimes the -- [inaudible] is fixed the black male student. right? without taking very serious and
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critical look at structures that physically reproduce inequities and underpreparedness for college and failing schools and so on. i am not yet met a black parent, for example, who says i don't want my kids to be successful. right. but oftentimes, we point fingers at parents and families when we think about underpreparedness for college and so on. i think that it should outrage us, the conditions of the schools in which our students are disor portion nately represented. the preparation of our teachers should concern us. those who work with young black men and have low expectations for them and so on. so i just -- i find in conversations such as this we're looking for a silver bullet. that if we just could get the black dude to do this, he would be successful. but he still has to go back into
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a structure that is racist, a structure which people are still behaving behaving in same ways. prld i would argue that we should shift the -- [inaudible] from the black male student to the station and industrially forces that undermight be his achievement in school and college. >> [applause] >> i would like to pick up with him i agree. there is a -- [inaudible] and what it is the change in structure. a lot of times a lot of structures keep keep staying there and being pervasive. we work on the same things. and i'll give you a great example. we taunt if that person has a caring teacher how it happens. well, the question is if you go to schools now, you'll find that a lot of teachers don't care. they have given up. as soon as nay see the black
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face, it's predetermined by the teacher's action how they feel about their students as far as what effort you to put. you have to have visionary students and principals who change the teacher. and i think it's really sometimes make it harder than really it is. weather having conferences with the teachers -- who are not going to be black teachers. they're going to be white, hispanic a lot of different types. women for the most part as well. i think that's another aspect we have to understand. how is black male behavior entrepreneur dated by female gender is another issue that is there. when you start to look at -- [inaudible] and you start to see a over 76% of those expulsion are african-american male you can start to see how that is going lead to the prison-type mind later. they're going to be disor portion natalie impacted.
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>> you mention the system i.t. and so let's move in a slightly different direction. we hear the phrase over and over again education is the pulse that helped create a level playing field. and that level playing field is the promise of economic success, a pathway to the american dream built on the framework of this nation. so when it hidden debate, doctor, you argue that the core definition of these ideals are very different between the communities much african and european origin. divergence between the two accountedded for myriad disparities in the african-american community. how do we shine the light on a more meaningful debate? how do we take it off what's wrong on the african-american male and focus on what we believe we know to be the core sense of issues that are confronting us? >> i would say that one of the first things we have to do is
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real that we have to define success for ourselves. we have to stop using other people's definition of what success is. other people's definition of what equal, justice, and liberty are. the voice talked about this when slavely was over, he said that folks were recently free quote, unquote, at end of slavely thought they were free. they thought about that freedom included justice and equality. when they encountered what they thought was freedom it didn't include justice and equality. with we have to begin to look at things hole listically. i think the conversation about a silver bullet, there's no -- never a silver bullet. we have to do whatever we want to holisticically. we have to look at culturallily, all of those components have to
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be involved. look at the diets how do we impact us in our community. all of those things are key to transform what we see as success. once we have dictate what success is for us. then we have an opportunity to actually achieve something that is different than what someone else says success is. that's the piece he's talking about with regard to changing the structure is a structure is our conception of what the structure is. other times the game is changed. you think you get success and all of a sudden you got where somebody typical tells you and the rules change. you didn't define it. someone else defined something that you thought you were aspiring too as they what -- you achieve what they told you. we have to be in control of that. other piece i want to add is allture. i think that we have got to go back to an idea understanding and valuing african culture.
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african people need insert it who we are it becomes the key for transformings education. there's bunch of research i have students doing looking the significance of for success of young males in african-american in the community when culture is a key variable. and there's a lot of research that is popping up now talking about that is the key their success happens when they know who they are. when they understand they co. they demand word means return to the source. if we understand the same we give back to where we came from and we succeed because we know we frame greatness. [applause] >> right. [applause] i want to pick up on that last very profound point about the importance of young black men knowing who they are. right. i want to revisit an early your point they made about if only
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they see singular presentation and hear the singular narrative of who they are all about deficit, all about doom and gloom, then that shapes their aspirations. right. it's important for young black men to be exposed to men like the five that are on this panel. and men those who i know for sure are in black communities across the country. we rarely hear anything about the men. because they are narratives are overshadowed by the fascination with this supposed black male crisis in our country. >> let me venture back on that real quick. [laughter] that i think we have to realize that it's not just about the men on the panel. it's my father. my father didn't have a college education. but he was someone with integrity.
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right he was someone who made sure that i knew that i certain things i had to do. it was my grandfather all these different people the elders in the community all these folks who come in and do things who are brothers and sisters, who are great examples. we need to see those examples and know that those sort are the things that help us to success. mothers who couldn't read taught their children the value of reading by holding a newspaper and not reading but looking like they're reading. it's not necessarily you have to be someone who has degree. it's an understanding you have an responsibility. it's the unking that possibility is about us coming in and knowing that we do have great people in the community. it's not the system is failing. we have followed the systems of white sprem sei and oppression and those things collectively. we begin to do some of the things that detrimental to i. they have to be self-critical as
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well are of the system and large and realize it's a holistic piece. both are key to the success. >> in addition to the, i say there's a question that end of the day our young men ladies as well they have to be able to answer. that question is who am i see and see too many of us when we look into the mirror, we don't recognize who that is looking back at us beyond a name on the birth certificate. as an educator it was important for me by the time the kids are finished with the experience they would look into the mirror and realize there was more to me than the name. i have a story that goes beyond 1619, see as a consult assistant now, 1-year principal stepped away from it in 2011 to become a
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self-employed international consult assistant. i'm working with thousands of teachers throughout the year. one of the things i find is that teachers, many. them, don't want to pate paint with a broad brush. many don't recognize the kids in the classroom. many don't recognize they have story that goes back again beyond 1619. as was said school was is starting at deficit and we scratch our head wondering what's wrong with black mealedded. i when i receive that question which is pretty much seven days a week. what's wrong my answer is the same. nothing. there's nothing wrong with where these young men. [applause] right. too many of us told hold up a my already an analyze ourself. when we begin to hold up the mirror and assess ourself and going make the necessary change begin to receive the necessary
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professional growth and development so that i'm in a position to provide that youngster with a proper education an education he needs in order for him to be whatever that word success means. whatever it means we increase the probability he will be successful. there is no silver bullet. there's no silver bullet and magic button to press. it is a process but it is rooted, it is grounded and question who am i? i don't care how much math we offer. how much we invest in the best reform model in terms of writing with, reading and math. if that kid looks in the mirror and doesn't recognize the young man. all that is wrong. [applause] i want you to take a couple of steps further. you focus a lot on who are you? you have a couple of followup questions that i think are absolutely critical.
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what are you about? and then here's the quicker for most of us. what is your most recent evidence of that? >> that's right. see. i say that and i'll say beyond the educator i'll say everybody in the this room. including myself. before the educator starts the day, particularly if you went to the principal of the school how to get it done. but before you start the day, you have to go to the anywhere roar. you can't -- mirror you can't go into the classroom or lead that school or district without going to the mirror, looking at person looking back at you and asking that person who are you? as it relates to the young men. and then closing your mouth, and waiting for an answer. see not who i am? because when we ask who i am. the eager will kick in and answer the question for us. but going to the mirror and asking the question who are
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you? and wait for a response. let me give you an example being brief. when i ask that question in my mirror, who are you as it relates to these young men or students? i wait for a response and response is typically something like this. you are principal. principal whatever school i'm at at that time. principal north tech, you are not ordinary at what you do. you are extraordinary at what you do. why is that important that my reflection tells me that? how do i take young people and inspire them to strive to maximize their potential but leadership sees less than extraordinary in his mirror? see as the classroom teacher how do i produce honor roll students and i i don't care neighborhood but that reflection said you're okay you're arch. okay and average is going to get okay and average results.
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but when one gets conformation of the extraordinary accomplishment, we increase the probability for extraordinary results. and then secondly, what are you about? a question of purpose. we have to be rooted and grounded in purpose. when we're rooted and grounded in the purpose, can't nobody push us off to the side. we're rooted. if the purpose is black men are going to achieve excellence. black boys are going go to eye have a league schools. black men are going to do whatever they set their sites on doing. if that's my purpose, it's going happen. then the last question is what your most recent evidence? that's the one that determines if the answer that questions one and two are really real. that question is like what janet jackson said what have you done for me lately? what did you do yesterday who validated who that reflection said you are.
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if i can't come up with something that means the day was an waste of time. it's attitude transformation. there's nothing wrong with the boys. we have to look at what we're doing. we have to make sure we're on the right path for the youngsters to be successful. [applause] let me add one comment. i think that when we look at that the point he raises it's a great point about looking in the mirror. is that when we look in the my already also we have to realize it's not us looking back at ourself. it's our ancestor looking at us asking you what are you doing? if you want to join the table of the ancestor it's not just about what you think something is going to come and give you some revelation. it's about what you do on a daily basis. what are you doing different than today. derrick bale wrote a bock called ethical ambition. he said powerful, how do i
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achieve success while maintaining my integrity. how do i achieve success while maintaining my integrity. that's important sometimes we goat point of thinking when we get to success and then because we see money or it fame or something else. that our sense of integrity disappears and it can become like it was saying earlier less important how you as a teacher is doing with the kids because now you get your 70,000 or 80,000 you get a salary so you have less value about concerning what's going on with the students. but if you understand that when you look in the mirror that's a whole bunch of hides -- eyes on you begin to understand what you do every day has to be questioned. that you have to look at what you do every day from the perspective of transforming the world and derrick bale said we have to think about we have to have passion, courage, willing
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to take risk and we have to be humble. if we look at those things it takes us back. true justice rights and harmonious balance. back to the ancient committee egyptian idea how we do what we do. it becomes the key. we need to look at them. when i sit example for the student and my children or whenever i am, i have raze i that see me when i don't think they see me transfer -- therefore i have to maintain that integrity all the way through. >> i'm sorry. one quick thing. [applause] >> i got to say this young thing. i should have sat on the other side. we like to box around. >> here we go. >> august 28th, 2006, i'm standing on the bridge by myself. and i'm standing there for an
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solid hour, praying, meditating we flecting on myself relative to these young people. right. and then those three questions dr. browne talked about. who am i? what are you about? what is your most recent evidence. those are where the questions came from as what he said. ancestors, i know you understand this they started speaking to me as i'm standing on the bridge and see they said principal, who are you? you know qhapped on this bridge. are you saying that you can't take a mind and transform it and comparisons to what happened on this bridge on march 1965? are you serious? with that i went back to the school. one of my colleagues standing right in here and took a mirror and gave it to every employee in the building. based on the experience, because i understood who was talking to me. as a consult ant i have to teach
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the story in addition to a whole lot of other things to educators. because the average educated they come across whether i say come across, i mean, thousand of them. not recognize the photograph of that bridge. so i say to the educator, how do you talk about president obama? and your children do not know the bridge? you can't talk obama if you don't talk the bridge. because without that march, chances are that you and i wouldn't know he was even born. because of the struggles that took place on the march because of the struggles that happened prior to that march we know. we know that man was born and we know why he's in the white house. that's a story that those young men have to know. how do we keep the secret away from them? and expect them to be excellent? let them in on the secret. we have to let them in on the story.
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and they have to know about the ancestors and know those ancestors are looking at them 24/7. >> quickly. i want to -- i guess for me, the question is a little bit more complex because i think -- doctor said, you can train a man's mind but not his heart. there's no correlation between those two. and i start to think about people that i call the better blacks. and -- uh-uh. and for me this is really important because, you know, no matter how far i go. i'm always grounded. i'm grounded by my experience. but a lot of people are not. and i wonder how we accomplish this in the world of better blacks. i say better blacks. my friend had a shirt that said i'm a better black. i'm better than the others because i'm educated. and i wonder how we do that when
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the paradigm shifted, because i think that when you talk about segregation and even slavery, you go through the common experiences are not only was the african-american doctor and teacher and everyone in the same community. i think you get to the point where there was a collective. and that collective is diminished. and so now we -- some of us have become americanized. and americanization is also selfishness and so when we think about it in that realm, how do you accomplish this when now we have don't have the collective? if we go back to african roots. how do we accomplish this in this sort of new paradigm? doctor, i i want to follow on that. we want to come back to you. here's how i sum up what ever
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part behalf you said. desegregation created separation new a new form of appar tide in our country because if the quote, unquote, better blacks that became the opportunity to build a different community, not the same community, and that same process also lead to the direction of african-american. which was the third destruction of african-american economic communities the first two destructions were actually intentionally external destruction. for example the riots in atlanta. another place whites literally set out to destroy black businesses. this destruction was brought about by our response something we thought we call freedom. with that kind of structure set up, how do we go about the business of recreating community.
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let me add another piece. some people that leave the issues that we're talk about african-american males are relatively new know mom that they grew up with hip-hop and that sort of thing. but the scholarship goes back much, much further than that. some of the scholarship goes back to the '60s an and '70s many started noticing knee mom non. i got to graduate school and looked around and discovered it was me and another brother and 15 sisters. because my first response was that's cool. [laughter] we we can make this work. then grow discerp and realize you have a problem. i want to take it back further than that. wb deboys the philadelphia negro that study if you go back and look at that same study, it is the exact same set of issuings
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that with deal with now in terms of the african-american male absence in the economy, the lack of the african-american male pushing entry into the certain level of education, so we understand that it is we who have to act but it's been we who have had to act since the phenomena when the philadelphia negro came to interest ens. where are we? what do we do? how do we push ourself forward from here? i'm going let him take a crack. he's going say anything else he wants to say. if. >> i'll start there and work my way back. i got to say i'm troubled by the whole concept of better blacks. and frankly, i don't think that that is a place in this discussion. it is one of the most racist
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concepts concerning our people. [applause] it is devicive, i don't believe there are better blacks, right. in my national black male college achievement study, those undergraduate men work extraordinary nay accomplished young men. if you look at résume and transcripts. some may have mislabeled them as the better black men at clark atlanta and 41 other institutions in study. the men themselves said i am not one of the better blacks. if fact, they refused such label. they said i'm not different from my brother, from my cousin, from other black men with whom i grew up. the only thing that differentiates us that i was lucky enough to get certain opportunities and certain people invested in ways they didn't invest in other black men in my schools. [applause] i just --
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you know, i think it's really dangerous to try to separate the good blacks from the others. right. [chanting] the other point i wanted to make. i wanted to go back to the powerful story that was told about the bridge and about going back and giving the teachers the mirrors. i really wish we could get more educator to do the kind of reflective question-asking of themselves. who am i? what am i about? where is the evidence of my supposed commitment to social justice and all kinds of other things teacher say they carry care about? i wish if we could get more educators to be reflective in those ways because a force of any work can concerned with student engagement in college. oftentimes the question is
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supposed in the following ways. why are black undergraduate men so tragically disengaged. rarely do educators ask themselves the important question what have i done to engage these black men on my campus? i think that is an important reframing of the engagement question. >> i want you to respond. >> you don't -- [inaudible] [laughter] i'm pleased because eventually going to do a little tag team routine here. i think doctor and agree it's a devicive term. i'm not saying i believe that i'm a better black man. what i'm saying the phenomena still exists whether we want to term it or not. there are those who think they are better than other people. there are those who now go and say i don't want people to -- [inaudible] because it looks bad. [inaudible]
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looking a certain way it's going to make all black people, you know, it's and going back to the self-hate of tiring to get away with who are. iom not saying i agree. i don't see myself any different than anybody i walk pass on the street. there are those -- [inaudible] there are people who feel that because they have gotten the college education, make six figtures now they see themselves as different. the reason i say that's a problem is what happened what happens when that person get into the classroom. what happens when that person is educating the young man who see on the corner who may have his pants down but has unlimited potential. how is that young man going to be viewed in the classroom? and those there questions because it's not just white to
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black. it's black to blacks as well. and it's because they don't believe in the human potential that each of those young men and women have. and when you don't -- i'm a firm believer one of the things i hear and all of the things i hear is disbelief. if you don't believe that young man can be successfully won. but the difference is my my life were those teachers who believed in me whefn i didn't believe in myself nay saw something in me that was special that i didn't know was there. when you have someone that does that. when you have teacher that reaches out. when you have an administrate i had a principal who would go and sat and tell you you have doing whatever, you know, that you had do. he cared. that type of personal interaction that is needed. it's not, you know, i always say this. you can't reach a man's mind until you reach his heart. and if we don't give that
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teacher -- if you don't reach that heart there's nothing you're going to be able to do with having them be successful later on. >> i think we have to be cautious here. because it sounds god to say there's no difference. there are differences. we all at different places and spaces in our lives and in our communities. you know, this concept of the better black it's not anything knew in terms of those ideas but that we are all come from certain places and that are experiencing are different. that creates a different reality. it's almost like if we take it too far it's loom like taking the idea of being color blind. people dell me that and i do a lot of work on race. people tell me color blind and the wall is the same color of the door. i said no. not exactly. i said you're not color blind. we have to be careful about the broad generation. the difference what we find is find the beauty and the solution in our deferences.
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that's one of the things i work on so much is bringing us together as people of african descent whether from the island on content or south central america. i have to come together and realize our strength is in our difference and if we sign up those differences and the similarity people see both of them. both have a value. i want to thought about the solution. i have a couple. one in reference to the financial piece here. i think that one of the things that we're doing -- we started the african credit union. a way for us to begin to empower the community. we begin to own what's going on in our community. we begin to control the things going on in the community. that's why we work to brace that gap -- bridge the gap. i'm a vice president of the charter but also i know we have problems. we have to figure out the multiple solution for those. we have big argument in knew around about publish v charter for me we are a community school
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everybody doesn't agree with it. if the community is involved and invested. we have the ability to control what's going on. we have to empowers to push those envelopes. the solution are in us. we have to come together collectively begin to push away our extreme differences that aren't so extreme. push away our egos, let our egos sit at door and come to the table and have a discussion. we have somebody who thinks they're a better black would be at table who doesn't see themselves at that so we can come together and transform the reality of the world we live if we say it's going to be these and those people. we have the separate discussion. we're not going to transform it on the global level. it's not a thing here. it is a global conversation. it's going on all around. antiviolence coalition is doing stuff with violence. there's so much in all violence. in the islands and continent.
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it's a global thing. i have to think and act globally. [applause] focus for another moment on the big question. this is know we've been dealing with well over 100 years by documentation. we understand the global nature of it. how do we begin to attack it on the level and how does it connect with other efforts? how do we manage this process? >> like said on another panel not too long ago. my i thinking relative to why we're here today is all on microlevel. i can't -- [inaudible] i can't do it personally. so i'm going to dwell on those things which i can control so i say to a teacher, for example, to a teacher you can't control
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poverty. you have no control over that etch though you may use that as an excuse as to why we're seeing what we're sighing. you you can't control that. but what you can control is what goes on in your classroom. so therefore because i feel you can control that, and if you're the principal if there are any any room. one thing you can control, if you can't control, you need to resign. one thing you can control is your school. right, if you can't control that. fine. they need to find someone who can. when say control don't mean about manning behavior. i'm talking about leading schools. in terms of the mike ceo and what i can control. what i do in terms of solution. i have got open up the thinking the classroom teacher. if i'm the teacher and i have nowhere with all on how to connect with those young men, then why do you expect those young men to be successful? why would we even think that if
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i'm in the classroom with the teacher with the majority of the hours of being awaking during the day are in the school. and i'm with a teacher black, white, whatever doesn't matter. and that teacher doesn't know how to connect with me? that teacher doesn't understand me. that teacher doesn't appreciate me. that teacher doesn't respect me. that teacher doesn't know me. that teacher doesn't believe me. that teacher hasn't figure out the fact it i'm glap graping with issues what is the difference between a man and male. going in, and training folks teaching folks that which they didn't receive in professional -- undergrad school. i'm in a better position to be successful. i can't tell you the number of teachers who write me and say, i didn't learn this before. didn't know this before. i parked my car today on dr. john henry clark drive. whatever they call it.
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drive, streets whatever. as i looked assign with, i'm saying i'm the man i am today because going to every lecture i could to new york city. my speft as an educator is rooted in that man. so it's no wonder perspective translates into so many. those young men being successful look the microlevel i can control. i don't care what the odds say about curriculum and we can't get proper curriculum in the closet. as you know i'm going stop. it's any favorite coat quote in the world. you know it. i know, do you. when carter g. woods when you criminal a man's thinking you don't have to worry about his action. you don't have to tell him stand here or yonder.
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he'll find the proper place. -- [inaudible] that book is a part of my professional development. where it be with my staff or with the teachers i work with. folks have never heard of this. exposing them to information that they just haven't been exposed to, you'd be surprised what folks can do with information they had not known existed. i can't concept lose the information knob told me existed and take those young men and move them closer to point b. from a. >> absolutely. [applause] i'm going go to dr. harper next. before i let him get started. i want to tell you we're going have some time for q and a from you. there's a microphone over there. if you start moving in that direction, if you have questions for what i think is one of the most powerful panel on the
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subject you would ever witness, then we goat dr. harper. >> thank you. i realize that our time is short. ly attempt to be brief here. terms of solution, in my black male student success in higher education report, i offered the best of what i learned from those undergraduate men on the 42 campuses and 20 different states around the country. i strongly encourage people to read it because those guys let me into their lives and really helped me to understand how they scefltly 1/2 combated their way through college. are offered in that report. i will also say that within the next two months the sensor for the study of rates and equity in education at university of pennsylvania is releasing 0 two reports that i think are useful
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on the topic. the first is a study that was funded by lam that foundation. that enabled me and a team of graduate students to work with five colleges and universities including a community college, including a historical belie black university, and three others. and essentially these five institutions rolled up the sleeves in a serious way to do something about a vexing problem concerning black men educational outcomes on campus. that report will showcase and describe in detail what these five institutions did to take seriously action on these particular issues. and the other report that is coming out of the sensor in about two weeks actually, highlights our prep academy, which prepares black undergraduate men for careers in education research. now i want to ak knowledge we
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are here at the harlem book fair. and i would argue that we need more black men writing books, doing research, and reshaping the narrative that it's told agent us. we need more black male voices at policy making table. and in other places where research and evidence isesused to make structure decisions regard the allocation of resource, the shapes of policy, and so on. those are two reports with actually, three reports that i would imagine will offer lots of solutions that will be helpful. >> thank you. now, we have -- looks like the women were quickest. [laughter] to the microphone. i'm going ask you to keep your questions as brief and pointed as possible. it you have a specific person you want to ask a question of, please do so. wonderful panel. thank you all for your insightful remarks.
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my question is about teachers. and about really sort of responding to what you were saying. one of the things that came from that from me was actually having a value for teachers. and in a lot of debate, we hear a tax and we're either attacking students, attacking teacher, attacking the scoop can you talk about transforming the relationship with teachers and how we value teachers in relation to it being a more holistic item many. >> it was directed a the anybody specifically? [inaudible] >> let me -- okay. as a principal. a principal for 14 years that had never been grieved by a union ever. because i understood the importance of relationship. see i can't get a teacher to
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even want to be at work. i can't get a teacher to be excited on sunday to monday is around the corner. if the principal is somebody who is beaten up and stepping on teachers. there are some people run around the cub making a living on attacking teachers. on the flip side, it's about forging relationship. it's about appreciation. it's about lifting up. it's about understanding that those are your folks on the frontline. now if i have folks in there who are not getting it done before i beat them up, quote, unquote, let me build them up. right. let me -- [applause] because something within that person at some point said i want to be a teacher. i want to do this. i think i'm the one for the job. and the job interview they said, i'm the one. they never talked about the -- [inaudible] which inhibits success. i'm saying i need help the person to find that. find that spark that inspired
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them to want to come into education in the first place. the short answer is about forging relationship so that ultimately as a school community we see ourself as just that a school community and there by a family as opposed 0 the opposing forces and the chirp are the ones who lose out. ..
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teachers and principals, we all need to be introspective like that. we need to think about what is like that. to do what he's talking about is only when you get there. we have to say as a teacher i am here every day. and by helping to educate them? i think about that when i think of folks teaching math at my institution another places. the question is 50% of students fail because they don't get it or doing something wrong. and would be on the administrative side, as parents what is it that we are doing that is not helping my child be successful and all of us together have to work synergistic we. to make it successful so there's no one person or one entity but
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all of us collectively have the possibility of succeeding. we have the possibility of succeeding and think about negotiating. in negotiation with union contracts or whatever we have to look at it differently. it is not a win/loose thing. sometimes it is 80-20 and other times 20-8. the life course of the relationship we want 50/50. >> thank you for the panel. i work in new york in our system. and has anyone done any studies about the differences between the development and learning of the female or male in this
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country. that is all the white women did. and the female with the mail on the way up with female children -- language all over the brain. the woman recovered senator because languages are part. and have you done any studies of anything and the second is can we do something in white control? i ask that because designed by black man and university social work. and they are flunking out right away. and the summer program was so successful, running things
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through the time and they need to improve the time, and great success and the next thing i know they end up with one student from to that. the program was not for them and that is what i want to know if things are outside. and it is out side. is that possible? >> one book title. the mental psychology of the black child by dr. amos wilson. and i would suggest from the studies, the second part of your question primarily we think about --
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>> the controlled by white people. >> i don't know if that is the answer. and we can and we cannot. the control most of the resources. i don't know if that is the solution that we want. oklahoma is a great example of this success. and those types of success we have to understand the environment in which we live to push for that success regardless in creating anything that might work to destroy that which we worked on and if we work together and understand the relationship to brothers and sisters outside the united
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states once again thinking about that piece, i agree but if we don't work holistically and on a global level, successful failure and we have that reach where we have brothers and sisters on the continent, advocate on our behalf. >> there are also some examples of things that are already working. if you look at our children which is a model for the nation. if you look at the naval academy and when they are doing in side the system you are able to find people who make things work over a longer period of time. >> thank you. >> hello. thanks for the great panel.
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i am going to be a junior in college in massachusetts. my question. similar to the woman before me, what can we do at a grassroots level? often times focus on the system and eating the system but i of the great privilege of volunteering for the project -- working with young people and they really focus on the development program. i am wondering what can each of us in this room do collectively? we can have power in numbers something to my mind was each of us mentored a child. a young man or young woman. i wanted to tell you that on what kind of grass-roots what can we do? >> the passage programs are great. my boys were in a program called step which describes progress. there were programs, check them
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out in but there were other models in terms of that the grooves -- grassroots level that allow us to really begin to figure out what is needed in that community. sometimes when folks coming with grass-roots saying what happened is something outside and this is what you need. we need to do the surveys in communities and have community folks involved in them and they can dictate themselves what they need. then you begin to transform those communities. >> i am not being combat of here. it is an important footnote. writing passage programs. they reinforce homophobia, particular forms of masculinity that are not always inclusive. it is important if we are
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building something that sort of feels like a rite of passage experience to be sure that we are inclusive of the range of masculinity and sexuality and diversity. >> i am just saying that we look at the origins, rights of passage not just for males but women as well. the passage system caused that from origins of us as african people. things that helped us to understand how to become a man or a woman. the reason and crime for them. it is not about one's sexual out unnecessarily. weenie grounding and understanding of what it means to be responsible for your community. what it means to have humility, teaching ethics and rites of
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passage teaching a lot more things and teaching young men urban self-defense and teach them business and finance and lots of things. i don't want to have a wide room on rights of passage to seems negative which i think if we go back to them that is the key. a right of passage today is tv. rights of passage is radio and you still love radio but can't listen to it now with your kids. we have to think differently about what we see as rites of passage. >> next question. >> i have a doctoral degree in vital statistics. the statistics that were quoted were interesting. however, even though i am a statistician i do think they are interesting in that they leave out a lot.
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they are very quantitative, not qualitative. the question i have is i am troubled little bit by this discussion. it is great that we do focus on black men and making them successful. i think it would be interesting how we talk about this in terms of black women. we are talking about the system, the education system and how we need to transform this so that black men are successful. the interesting thing is statistics were not quoted for black women. i would wonder if black women are in the same schools as black men if black women are in the same homes as black men. if black women are in the same neighborhood as black men. i would really be interested to hear your conversation or something you can talk to about in terms of if the statistics
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are not quoted by black women and iffy assumption is they are better for black women than can't you talk about what is going on? black women are opposed to racism and exposed to sexism and if we could have this conversation about black women so the we have successful communities. >> i will answer your question in a report that i have, the data and statistics for black men and women. i don't believe in leaving any out and what you find when you look at the data is by and large black women are doing better but not relatively when talking about other race and ethnic groups. we don't -- i don't ever want to have this conversation in a sort of a 0 sum game of black men versus black women because it is not either war. it is both. there are things we can learn
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from what is happening as it relates to black men. one of the things we have seen over incarceration statistics is it has gone down for black women. and other black men go to jail to determine they don't want to do that. there's something about the experience that is different for black women and black men. i can't necessarily answer what that is without further research but something different about that experience. >> i want to point out your first comment was extremely important about the problem with statistics. book called thicker than blood:how racial statistics lie. it shows you that an understanding as statisticians we have the ability to put whatever statistics out there we want to put out so we make it look this way or that way so we need to be careful about statistics and that is why we
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are introspective. when you read something don't just take the statistics. look at the actual numbers as well. we have confusion about a lot of data in american society because people look at the percentages without looking at the numbers all the time. as well as those specific statistics someone presents to you without weeding through them yourself to come up with a more in-depth analysis. >> i think the two -- i don't think statistics are useful. it tells you the what, not why. qualified research is just as important because it get to the point of why but not what. anything you read and see you can determine if it is in fact true. >> i appreciate that you said sometimes we don't ask the question of what does this statistic not tell us? one of the most popular statistics quoted about black
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men is two thirds drop out. that is a big problem. the flip side is the third actually graduates. we never pursued insights from them or try to understand what does it that enabled that third to persist through baccalaureate degrees and so on despite the enormous challenges that we confront them on their educational pathways. >> good afternoon. i work on my doctorate in psychology and philosophy. i am blessed and honored to be here in this discussion but i am quite troubled for the simple fact that what i see reflected before me is a division of
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people and what troubles me the most is when i think of blood, sweat and tears those that appeared to wait for us and their common cause and purpose through spirituality and commonality that made these things possible. and being a resident of harlem that i can walk through the streets of harlem and see the challenges in my brothers and sisters face or distinguished panel but never see it on any other day of the week. or any other discussions in the community at this level. so here today i sit and i hear this interesting intellectually stimulating conversation but then i see the lack of substance, dignity and integrity. to me that is an issue. i just hope that we as brothers
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and sisters together today can find our true purpose and cause as a community. i am praying that the answer to the question i am going to pose to you is will that ever happen? will i see some brothers and a panel like this coming to harlem on wednesday night and walked the streets or go out and gather some brothers in to sit down and talk to them and teach them these things you are saying we are doing? >> i want to respond first because i live in harlem. the [applause] >> i actually do that. i am a member of the fraternity and we mentor students from brooklyn and all over the city. i don't believe in just doing its work because i don't believe in -- i didn't get a chance to ask the solution question but if
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i had to answer it is just that. how do you participate in a formal program. being a part of the community, and in the community and right there every day. and the last question to and talk to. you are right. we are not going to happen by if we do the grassroots organization and all those things it will happen when we are in and of our communities and be part of those communities. i live across the street on 135th. i am right here. [applause] >> one reason i selected these panels is in each and every instance they are scholars with proven product and outcome on these very issues in the
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community. [applause] >> i want to be clear about that. i don't live in harlem. [cheers and applause] >> what we do all week long every week with our students and faculty and staff is working in our communities all the time. we mentor young men and build collegiate 100 on campus for the purpose of organizing parts of our efforts. all of our fraternities and sororities do this work. we have partnered with a number of schools and school systems and community agencies and feed the hungry and do all that kind of work and we are trying to build community as we go. i think how i want to end this today and i have to end this today is first to say thank you
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to our panelists. i am very pleased -- [applause] >> so we did gather the right scholars in this room today and let me say to you as the president's of the university, one of the great joys of the work is the opportunity to gather with scholars like these that have these conversations and cause us all to take action based on what we have come to know and do the same. i thank you for attending and hope this has been beneficial and helpful to all of you.
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[applause] >> this event was part of the 2012 harlem book fair. to find out more visit q. in columbus, ohio booktv to tours of several 4 with recites and brought local affiliate's time warner cable. coverage continues now. >> i am the associate of rare books and manuscripts from columbus, ohio. we are here at the special collection reading room with manuscript and libraries with other divisions of the university library special collection theater research institute library and i am here to talk to you today a little bit about our collections which
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are really rather expensive and to give you a sense of what kinds of things we have by highlighting a few examples of things that i particularly like. some are just random off-the-cuff selections. the first item i would like to talk about is what i describe as my white whale. this is the horn the bible. this is probably in my very biased opinion one of the most substantial and beautiful items in the manuscript library collection and what it is is an example of an early thirteenth century transitional bible. what i mean is prior to the yearly thirteenth century medieval bibles by and large did not look at all like bibles as we think of them today. they tended to be in larger volumes with larger pages than this and to have a complete bible you likely would have had a bible in a multi volume set anywhere from 6 to 20 or more
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volumes. in the early thirteenth century a number of intellectual and cultural changes were happening that necessitated the creation of a new type of bible and the hornbe bible as a result of that. what happened in the thirteenth century put things very simply that you had the emergence of the university's and emergence of the fraternal order of friars and dominicans and let's take the university's first. with the rise of universities the bible became the core textbook for all fields of study. what they needed in that case when a lot of people using the same text is something that is standard or a standard is possible during a period in which we do not have accountable reproduction of books. everything is written by hand. what happened in the 13 century is they develop new ways of
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packaging the bible and its stars to coalesce into a single volume and you start having coherence and consistent ordering and order of the books of the bible beginning with genesis and end with apocalypse and other things begin to happen. certain facets of the early medieval bible start to fall out. if you look at this year you can see all of these colored roman numerals. this is an outline of the old chapter numbers assigned to the bible over the course of centuries in the early medieval period. in deer c-span2 century what happened is these old numbers start to fall out of fashion and the bottle is recaptured and reorganize. we look at this and we can see at example of this happening. these colored numbers in the margins are the old traditional
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chapter numbers. we can see that these have been crossed out likely by ink and a new chapter numbers in this case chapter 51 has been numbered to chapter 22. we have one revision in ink and another in early pencil and what is going on here is the old traditional chapter numbers are giving way to the new searching century style of ordering the chapters of the bible and essentially these chapter numbers are the same chapter numbers we see now when we look at the bible today. the hornthe bible is significant for a number of reasons which was created we don't know exactly when but between 1210 and 1220. it survived intact until 1981 at which point it was sold at auction and broken apart by its purchase serve immediately. the leaves were then distributed for tax purposes and sold off
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piece by piece. windier >> host: as of ohio state university came into possession of roughly 150 to 160 of these and over the last few years has become somewhat of an obsession for me to try to piece together as many pieces of this bible as possible. we are now sitting at approximately 181 out of that original 440 leave at ohio state. this one -- actually these two are the newest editions. this bill eliminated leaf features st. james on the left. we acquired this one in april and right next to it with this gorgeous work we acquired in may. i am trying to reconstruct this bible not just because we have a lot of it and it would be a nice thing to do but because for all intents and purposes the changes we see in this manuscript
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reconstitutes what we call in biological terms a missing link. this is a fundamental step in the transition and evolution of the medieval bible to what we now know and think of as the bible. an extremely important witness to the textual production of the bible and i would encourage anyone if these look familiar to get in touch with the ohio state. this is a late fourteenth century copy from circa 1375, what this essentially is is a collection -- the text itself while significant wasn't that popular and the reason we are showing it to you today is not because of what the words say but this guy right here. this is an or original medieval
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bookmark. as you can see, still bound to the original binding, originally fourteenth century binding and what is significant is i don't have an exact census for you but there is an extremely low number of these bookmarks that still survive and most that do survive do not exist in their own original books but as a single independent units. they are not bound. a significant and fun object for more reasons than it is extremely rare. this is what i like to call an example of medieval hypertext. as you can see, looking at this layout could be hard to read in the middle ages. the colors that are operating here are not just decoration but punctuation. modern punctuation systems did not develop as we know them
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until late in thing -- sixteenth century some medieval readers and writers would employ these different colors in order to help navigate their way through the text of. in spite of any help these give the whole process of reading one of these books could be very difficult so they created a performs of readers's age and this is an example. i will show you how it works. step one, like any modern bound bookmark we can think of today. it is on a string and you played the starring in and it will mark your page opening. however you will notice there are four columns on this page. this -- the first, second, third and fourth. notice one that has a lovely little drawing on it? and notice that it spins. on the back you have four words
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written. we will drop this one and stop right there and market. what this is telling us is the reader is on the fourth column. not the first or second or third but the fourth. we have two steps page opening and column marker. .. >> i'm sure most of you if not
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all of you out there know who martin luther is. he's considered the father of the mod be earn protestant church -- modern protestant church, all of its branches. and potted history of martin luther in the barest possible terms, 1517, martin luther hammered his feces on the church door in wittenburg x. this essentially starts what is a raging firestorm in the landscape across europe. needless to say, the powers do not like luther's challenge of papal authority, and in particular he's challenging the whole system of indulgences whereby people could buy forgiveness for their sins. and there's a lot of back and forth between martin ruther and the catholic church between the next two to three years. luther participants in a number -- participates in a number of disputations with catholic authorities and, really, no common ground is being met.
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and then in 1520, luther begins what becomes the final breaking between this protestant movement and the roman catholic church. and he issues three texts. ohio state has, as i mentioned earlier, the harold grimm collection consisting of over 600 different titles, probably approaching closer to 700 if not more at this stage. it chronicles really every aspect of the german reformation. and ohio state is extremely lucky to have probably who could be considered the three core texts of the early german protestant movement. these were all written by martin luther in 1520. this first text was august 1520x this is luther's address to the christian nobility of the german nation. and in this book luther lays out a doctrine that will become one of the foundational tenets for all of protestantism as the years go by, and that is the notion of the priesthood of all
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believers. and, basically, in quick terms what this doctrine dictates is that your personal relationship with god need not be mediated by priests. this charges all christians to actually take their own salvation into their own hands. the second book next to it is -- [inaudible] on on the babylonian text of the church, and this was issued in august -- or, excuse me, october 1520. and in this martin luther essentially attacks the sack rental structure of the catholic church. he redefines the understanding of the eucharist or the lord's supper, baptism can and the doctrine of penance. perhaps most antagonistically, however, this is the first printed occurrence of luther
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actually calling the pope, in this case pope leo x, the antichrist. there's really no going back from that point. the third text is november 1520, and this is on the freedom of the christian man. and in this text, um, we have nice little early wood-cut portrait of luther, basically saying the faithful christian does not believe in god and love god because he is compelled, rather it's a free and willing demonstration of love and a free and willing pursuit of charity and right living simply because you love god, not because you are compelled to love god. >> local ohio author randolph roth is next on booktv. his book is "american homicide." >> the homicide rates since really world war ii have core rated best with the answer to this question: do you trust the government to do the right thing
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most of the time, and do you believe public officials are mostly honest? when we've answered yes to those questions like we did in the late '50s and early '60s, we don't kill each other. and when we say, no, we don't trust the government, we don't trust our public officials, the homicide rate goes higher. homicide rate in the united states has been extraordinarily high really compared the to the rest of the affluent world for over a century compared to most other affluent nations. our homicide rate for most of the 20th century was, you know, between, say, four time toss ten times or measure -- times to ten times or more the homicide rates in other societies. so we've had a pretty high rate. and it doesn't always sound very high when you hear it in the newspaper. for most of the 20th century, our homicide rate was with somewhere around 9 to 10 per 100,000 persons per year, and that sounds like a small number. but you have to multiply that by
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your life expectancy because you're expose today that rate for your entire life. so that means each year you've got that chance. and so when you look at that homicide rate that we have for most of the 20th century and you multiply it by life expectancy, if we were to maintain that rate, it would mean that roughly 3 out of every -- 1 out of every 160 children in the united states born today would be murdered, about 1 out of 460 white females. the statistics are by white and nonwhite. for about 1 out of every 160 white males, and about 1 out of every 110 nonwhite females and 1 out of 27 nonwhite males. it's a huge toll. and so when we think about those numbers, um, it's a really costly thing. now, our homicide rate is lower than it was at its peak between the mid '60s and the early 1990s, but still at the rates we're running today between 5
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and 6 per 100,000, and we were there for part of the 20th century at these rates before. you're still talking about 1 out of every 200 children born in america, roughly, will grow up to be murdered. as a matter of fact, when we think now that the united states say right after the revolution down to, say, the mexican war in the 1840s, if be you look at the north and the south, probably had the lowest homicide rate in the western world. and if you factor in improvements in emergency care and emergency medicine and think of how many of those people who were kill inside that period would survive today, it was an extraordinarily low rate, as low as, you know, the lowest rates if the world today. so there have been periods when it's been very low. and you take a look today. african-americans are most likely to commit murder and to be murdered today. it wasn't like that in the past. in fact, right on through to reconstruction from about the mid 18th century, african-americans were the least
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homicidal or among the least homicidal of all americans. so something changed in the late 19th century, early 20th century to shift those proportions where whites who had always been, you know, european-americans had always been the most homicidal and murderous became less likely and african-americans were more likely to kill. that doesn't mean african-americans were less likely to be murdered, in fact, they were murdered at a very high rate during reconstruction, you know, compared to other americans. but they were not the perpetrators, they were the victims. and african-americans really had a low homicide rate amongst themselves if you take a look at slavery or early reconstruction in the south. african-americans were less likely to kill each other than the whites were. so these patterns have changed dramatically over time which i look at it and i say, well, there's hope because it's not inevitable that the united states is murderous or that a particular groupover
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americans -- group of americans is murderous. but figuring out why those rates go up and down, how that changes over time is what we try to figure out. where we got out of bounds was beginning in the 1840s and 1850s when the country fell apart over the issue of slavery. and what we're beginning to see is what drives the homicide rate. it's hard to imagine this, that whether somebody rapes and murders a young woman that they don't know, whether somebody gets in a deadly bar fight and kills their best friend has to do with the political system, has to do with feelings and beliefs associated with government and society. um, when one of the things that we really see break down in the mid 19th century, we have a failure of nation building, essentially. our nation falls apart. and we're now thinking over 700,000 people were killed in that conflict. and during reconstruction easily 100,000 murlds or more.
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murders or more coming out of that devastating event. and when you have that kind of a loss, that kind of hemorrhage, when the state breaks down, when you have political instability, when people lose trust in government, when they don't have that sense of feeling that goes beyond the bounds of their family, that encompasses a racial group or national group or religious group, the murder rate can really skyrocket. it can go to ten even hundreds per 100,000. some of the places in the united states, the borderland where the conflict is most intention, the murder rate is getting up over 100 per 100,000, and that's when we kicked down. up until then, our homicide rate was lower than canada and england's, and the canadians always say, well, you're so violent. up until that state breakdown, our country was working pretty wellful it was peak for african-american distrust of government came during the nixon administration, 1971-'34, and that's when -- '74, and that's
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when african-american homicide rates are highest. and that was when you see that accumulated anger over affirmative action, busing, welfare, defeat in vietnam, the humiliation of the hostage taking in iran and our inability to do something about it, you know, proactively, that it lingered. that's when white trust in government went down lowest. and the white murder rate was the highest. at 7 per 900,000 -- 100,000 which is just a huge break. that's just whites themselves. and then ronald reagan comes in and speaks to the concerns of those people. and what happened? the homicide rate plummets. same thing happened when franklin roosevelt came in during the depression and said we're going to move in another direction. it was the second year of his administration when people started to trust him and to say this is someone who cares, this government cares, i'm empowered, i'm included, i matter, you see the homicide rate drop rapidly for all americans. and, of course, you see that
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drop under reagan, too, interestingly enough. so it's not a partisan thing, in other words. it has to do with how people feel generally about that person, whether they feel connected or included. another thing is really how connected we feel to our fellow americans. the best correlate that i found of the homicide rate from colonial times into the 9th century -- 19th century, and this is a strange one, the percentage of new counties in any decade named after national heroes. when we name our counties after national heroes, we don't kill each other. this is unrelated adults. but when that number's low and when did it drop? it dropped in the 1840s and '50s as people started to think we're not a nation anymore. we're deeply divided. and that number went down, and the murder rate went up. the same thing happened, um, in the colonial period. when from, say, this is one people won't know about, the glorious revolution of the 1680s, but that increased
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trust in government in great britain, the empire, the identification. is so the number of counties name after british heroes went up 80%, the homicide rate dropped. but when the imperial crisis came, we started to kill each other. so it's a way of saying something about solidarity. another thing is hate speech. we find we're starting to be able to map out the use of words now and these kinds of hate speech. and how intense these feelings were. the best -- you could, if you map up the use of the n word in the 19th century and what percentage, you know, how often that was used in the books that are published, you will map out the homicide rate perfectly. it's scary. in other words, when that racial hatred, that racialization of hatred comes at the sectional crisis in the 1840s, the 1850s, the homicide rate booms. it goes up, peaks during the
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civil war, goes down when reconstruction ends. it just follows that same pattern. and it works the other way. the other phrase that the anti-abolitionists used was the slave -- or the abolitionists used was the slave power. in other words, these are not our fellow americans. they're tyrants, they, you know, they brutalize their fellow human beings. we want nothing to do with them. and when that speech, that anger towards the white southern elite comes in, you'll see it maps out the murder rate too. so we're trying to look at ways to measure these kinds of emotions. but political instability, the breakdown of national cohesion seems to be really what we're looking at. so if you ask -- it's something my friends in europe and canada have always asked me, you americans really hate your government. we've never heard so much hatred of government speech. and i'm not talking about that in a partisan way. you know, people get upset in this country, and it goes back to that distrust, really gets
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amplified during the civil war. and, you know, we're still fighting the civil war. you look at the electoral map of bush v. or gore, the flip of the electoral map for lincoln versus everybody else. those political divisions are still there, and the feelings are still there. and so that's why we think as historians, as social scientists, many of us are beginning to think this is how we got into this thing. and i guess the thing that i would say, too, what i think would help, i mean, both liberalism and conservativism, in my opinion, have contributed very importantly to human progress. i think there are ideas of both of those ideologies that have been very constructive. but their theories of violence don't work. i mean, because it's not about deterrence. and it's not about the economy working well. you know, sometimes in the great depression the homicide rate goes down, you know? the 1960s it goes up.
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it can't be the economy. we look at religion. we are the most church-going people of any affluent nation. we have the highest percentage of people who believe in go. you know? and still we kill each other. how can that be? so our faith doesn't even, i mean, our extraordinary faith doesn't solve this problem. and if you think the people that are doing the murders don't think of themselves as godly, most of them do. they're god-fearing people who think that person deserves to die. i mean, you'll even read in these murder things, you know, god told me, you know, got what he deserved. well, that doesn't work because when you, when you have that anger there, people use their religion the wrong way anymore. and so i think we have the to get away from the idea that our ideologies are going to have the answer to the homicide problem among adults. we've got to look elsewhere, and that's what we're trying to do.
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>> a conversation with andrew welsh huggins is next on booktv. he talks with us during our recent visit to columbus, ohio. his book, "hatred at home," chronicles a domestic terrorism trial that started in the city. >> on august 6, 2002, these three men who had known each other for a couple of years at a local mosque got together, today basically went out for coffee at a caribou café coffeehouse. this was a, um, ten months after the war in afghanistan had begun, and at the time there were a lot of reports about the civilian casualties in that war. and these three were very upset about that. and they just started talking about sort of what they could do to enact revenge, or if they could do something about this and send a message, what would they do? and so imaf faris threw out an
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idea about the hoover dam, and christopher paul thought that was a good idea, but maybe there was something else, and this then the third man who was a somali immigrant to columbus, he said, well, what he thought would be a good thing to do would be to shoot up a shopping mall. maybe that would send the right kind of message. this meeting, which was kind of a casual meeting, again, where they were just sort of tossing out ideas, this became extremely significant to their three cases. the following year investigators came across iman faris, he had emigrated to the united states. he'd been in columbus five or six years by then. authorities came across his name during an investigation of another guy named khan who was an immigrant to baltimore, and khan was associated with khalid shake no happened, the -- khalid sheikh no happened, the architect to have 9/11 attacks.
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and they came across faris' name, and the notion that he may have been asked to check out the brooklyn bridge, see what it would take to bring the brooklyn bridge down. turns out faris had visited afghanistan, he'd been to some of the terrorism training camps, he'd met bin laden, he'd met khalid sheikh mohammed. so the fbi was obviously very interested in him. faris was questioned begin anything march of 2003, and during the interviews with faris, he mentioned this conversation that today had had with, that abdi had had and this idea of shooting up a shopping mall. and also the name of christopher paul, the third man at this coffee shop, came up. authorities started to piece all this together, and eventually if a sort of slow domino effect the three were arrested and charged.
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so iman faris, the pakistani immigrant, ultimately needed guilty to two charges of terrorism-related crimes. he pleaded guilty in a secret, closed deal made in virginia in 2003. the idea was that he had a lot to offer the government, and he might be able to get a reduction in his sentence based on the information he could provide. unfortunately, his case leaked, and the government was forced to publicize his conviction in that june. and at that point be everything went to heck, faris was very upset. he'd lost his bargaining chips. meanwhile, the government was extremely interest inside abdi, the somali immigrant. he ran a cell phone shop, he had a family, and they became more and more concerned about this shopping mall threat. here's somebody who made a
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throwaway comment about shooting up a shopping mall. unbeknownst to the people of columbus, what that led to was goth agents spent -- government agents spent weeks searching every mall in columbus at midnight. they would descend on malls with search dogs, s.w.a.t. teams looking for anything, for maybe he was going to set off a bomb. and so there's something a little bit comical about this notion that there might be a bomb sitting in these pretty luxurious shopping malls in columbus, but the government simply couldn't take anything for granted, so one throwaway remark led to this massive outpouring of investigations. meanwhile, the fbi was having a huge debate in washington with immigration authorities, can we arrest this guy? on what basis can we arrest him? we don't have a warrant yet. so a big legal fight in
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washington, and eventually the decision was made to arrest abdi the day after thanks giving, first of all, on immigration charges and then, ultimately, after about three days of nonstop questioning he acknowledged the conversation that had been at the coffee shop and, ultimately, he was charged. he was on his way to morning prayers when he was arrested. his family didn't see him again for six months, and he actually wasn't charged for another, gosh, almost eight months. so a lot of us in columbus remembered iman faris, but we didn't realize there was this other case pending until april 2004. now, the third guy in this trio in some ways is maybe the most fascinating. he grew up in worthington which is a suburb of column, but in fact, it's older than columbus. he was one of a small number of african-americans in this suburb, but he grew up if in a
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pretty close family. went to ohio state university, he underwent a conversion to islam, and he radicalized. there was a lot of concern among muslims about the atoss is eties the -- atrocities the soviets were carrying out. ultimately, paul laws changed his name. he went to afghanistan. like a lot of -- they called him the afghan arab. muslims from around the world who went to afghanistan to join the fight. he was over there, he became fairly radicalized. ultimately, he returned to columbus. he married a pakistani woman who'd been born in england. he changed his name again to christopher paul. nobody knows exactly why, but the assumption was that he wanted a more sort of american-s&p sounding name -- american-sounding name, something that might actually distract people from who he might be or what he might be up to. he stayed in columbus, but he
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stay inside close contact with terrorists cells in germany. he did travel to germany, and at some point he crossed paths with people who had direct contact with some of the 9/11 hijackers. there's no evidence paul had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, but he was on the periphery of those circles. and then through, through the decade to have 2000s he was here, he was living kind of a quiet life, but at the same time he was still involved with these radical notions and radical people. be the fbi took a long time to arrest him. all three were charged, essentially, with what's known as material support prosecutions. so the terrorism law that was seriously beefed up after 9/11. and this law has been used widely. it charges you with providing support to terrorists. what's controversial about it is
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it doesn't necessarily mean you did anything. you didn't commit a terrorist act, but you provided aid, supplies, money, sometimes even yourself as a foot soldier in the cause of terrorism. christopher paul would be someone you consider a very passionate ideological person. also i think probably a pretty honorable person. he really didn't fight his prosecution at all. he, there were a few court filings, but essentially he agreed to plead guilty almost immediately. he refused to testify or offer any information that might help him. so he's now in federal prison serving a 20-year sentence. abdi, the somali, everied a very -- received a very light sentence because the evidence against him was probably pretty thin, and he's actually scheduled to be released in the summer of 2012. his problem is he's not a u.s. citizen, and somalia's still not really a functioning government.
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part of his sentence was to be deported to somalia, but it's unclear if that can even happen. iman faris, he was never tried. he went back and forth with the fbi and, ultimately, government prosecutors. he essentially struck a deal, and the deal was he would plead guilty to two of these material support charges in exchange for his continued cooperation. and he, he agreed to this. there's a full transcript of his plea hearing where he agrees to all this. it's only later that faris got cold feet after his case became public, and suddenly he had nothing -- he wasn't worth anything to the government anymore. at that point there was a long court battle with faris where he tried to withdraw his plea, and he tried to have his conviction thrown out. ultimately, he lost on pretty much every level. faris is also serve ago 20-year prison sentence, he's in the
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federal super max in colorado, and some of his cell meats are robert hanson -- cell mates are robert hanson and ted cozinn sky, the unabomber. these are three pretty good examples of what the government was trying to do after 9/11. they were under enormous pressure because of the attacks, obviously, to make sure that nothing like this happened again. this material support statute they used had existed before 9/11, but it was, it was beefed up and added to. i think the prosecutions point out that the government felt it had to go after every lead no matter how minor it might have seemed in the end. there's a lot of people who think that it was a stretch to go after abdi for mouthing off about shooting up a shopping
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mall in a coffee shop while he's sort of shooting the breeze with some friends. i think what it shows is this complete change in the government's approach to investigating and prosecuting. john ashcroft, the former attorney general, made it very clear when he began to change the rules of investigative engagement, he said we are no longer going to start in the rubble of a terrorist explosion. we are -- our job now is to prevent those types of things. and in the prosecutions of these three men, that's clearly what you saw. they were going after people who had not done anything violent in the sense of committing an act, they want today go after these people -- wanted to go after these people to stop something from happening, and i think these are probably three of the best early examples of them trying to do that. when i set out to do this book, one of the first things i wanted
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to do was, um, basically illustrate how this was a, this was a national story that happened to unfold in ohio. i, you know, when people look into my book, i hope they don't think of it as an ohio story. this was a national story that happened to take place in ohio. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to columbus, ohio, and other cities on c-span's local content vehicle tour, visit >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. in "mortality," the late christopher hitchens chronicles his battle with cancer and how he dealt with facing death. 2001 nobel peace prize winner kofi annan recounts his experiences serving as the united nations' secretary general in "interventions: a life in war and peace." israeli politician danny cannen,

Book TV
CSPAN September 2, 2012 8:00am-10:00am EDT

2012 Harlem Book Fair Educational Panel Education. (2012) Carlton Brown; Shaun Harper; Baruti Kafele; Akil Khalfani; John Michael Lee. New.

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